Medical school gift restriction policies linked to subsequent prescribing behavior

January 31, 2013, British Medical Journal

Doctors who graduate from medical schools with an active policy on restricting gifts from the pharmaceutical industry are less likely to prescribe new drugs over existing alternatives, suggests a study published in BMJ today.

Medical that restrict gifts to physicians from the pharmaceutical and device industries are becoming increasingly common, but the effect of such policies on physician prescribing behaviour after graduation into clinical practice is unknown.

So a team of US researchers set out to examine whether attending a with a gift restriction policy affected subsequent prescribing of three newly marketed psychotropic (, antidepressant, and antipsychotic) drugs.

They identified 14 US medical schools with an active gift restriction policy in place by 2004.

They then analysed prescribing patterns in 2008 and 2009 of physicians attending one of these 14 schools compared with physicians graduating from the same schools before the policy was implemented, as well as a control sample of 20 schools that only adopted a gift restriction policy in 2008.

For two of the three drugs examined, attending a medical school with an active gift restriction policy was associated with reduced prescribing of the new drug over older alternatives within the same drug class.

A significant effect was not seen for the third drug.

Among students who had a longer exposure to the policy, or were exposed to more stringent policies, prescribing rates were further reduced.

"Our findings suggest that policies, which have been increasingly adopted by medical schools since 2002, may have the potential to substantially impact clinical practice and reduce prescribing of newly marketed pharmaceuticals," say the authors.

They add: "Future research examining the effect of these policies on medications with varying levels of innovativeness is necessary to establish whether medical school gift restriction policies reduce prescribing of all newly marketed medications or affect prescribing selectively."

Explore further: Exposure to COI policies during residency reduces rate of brand antidepressant prescriptions

Related Stories

Exposure to COI policies during residency reduces rate of brand antidepressant prescriptions

January 18, 2013
Psychiatrists who are exposed to conflict-of-interest (COI) policies during their residency are less likely to prescribe brand-name antidepressants after graduation than those who trained in residency programs without such ...

Thousands of patients prescribed high-risk drugs

June 22, 2011
Thousands of patients in Scotland who are particularly vulnerable to adverse drug events (ADEs) were prescribed high-risk medications by their GPs which could potentially cause them harm, according to research published in ...

Recommended for you

In most surgery patients, length of opioid prescription, number of refills spell highest risk for misuse

January 17, 2018
The possible link between physicians' opioid prescription patterns and subsequent abuse has occupied the attention of a nation in the throes of an opioid crisis looking for ways to stem what experts have dubbed an epidemic. ...

Patients receive most opioids at the doctor's office, not the ER

January 16, 2018
Around the country, state legislatures and hospitals have tightened emergency room prescribing guidelines for opioids to curb the addiction epidemic, but a new USC study shows that approach diverts attention from the main ...

FDA bans use of opioid-containing cough meds by kids

January 12, 2018
(HealthDay)—Trying to put a dent in the ongoing opioid addiction crisis, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday slapped strict new restrictions on the use of opioid-containing cold and cough products by kids.

Taking ibuprofen for long periods found to alter human testicular physiology

January 9, 2018
A team of researchers from Denmark and France has found that taking regular doses of the pain reliever ibuprofen over a long period of time can lead to a disorder in men called compensated hypogonadism. In their paper published ...

Nearly one-third of Canadians have used opioids: study

January 9, 2018
Nearly one in three Canadians (29 percent) have used "some form of opioids" in the past five years, according to data released Tuesday as widespread fentanyl overdoses continue to kill.

Growing opioid epidemic forcing more children into foster care

January 8, 2018
The opioid epidemic has become so severe it's considered a national public health emergency. Addiction to prescription painkillers, such as oxycodone and morphine, has contributed to a dramatic rise in overdose deaths and ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.